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The 1st Professional Human Computer
Kirt's Cogitations™ #166

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The 1st Professional Human Computer

Johann Dase, born in Hamburg, Germany in 1840, was of low intellect except for his extraordinary calculating powers. He could multiply two, 20-digit numbers in his head in 6 minutes. He could look at a field of sheep for only a couple seconds, then tell the exact count. His powers were attributed to a true photographic memory. Beginning at 16 years old, he was enlisted by famous mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss to generate the most precise tables of the day for logarithms, hyperbolic and trigonometric functions. These calculations would otherwise take years to make and require an entire staff of mathematicians. Since Johann was paid for his services, this possibly constituted the world's first instance of rented computer time.

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